Since the release of their fourth studio album Sempiternal earlier this year, Bring Me The Horizon have become one of the biggest names in the UK metal scene. Tonights sold out show is their second night at the Manchester Academy on their biggest headline tour yet and with a huge queue stretching from the Academy hours before doors it’s clear from the very beginning that fans were excited for tonight. Openers Sights & Sounds (6.5) failed to really get the crowd going despite their best efforts to. Their atmospheric take on Post-Hardcore probably wasn’t the best way to kick things off tonight but the quality of their songs does shine thanks to a good balance of aggression and melody in Andrew Neufields vocals, this is particularly clear during the songs from their latest EP Silver Door.
On the other hand it’s very obvious that a large portion of the crowd are excited to see main support Pierce The Veil (5), with the screams from the audience sounding more like something you’d expect from a One Direction concert than a Metalcore gig. Kicking things off with Bulls In The Bronx got almost all the younger members of the audience jumping and singing along and Hell Above continued this. Problems began occurring after this though as Pierce The Veils seemed more interested in playing up to the fans in the front rows and delivering speeches on how music saves lives then actually playing good songs, all whilst their actual on stage performance just felt quite fake. It doesn’t help that the songs played in the middle of their set drift too much into pop territory and felt out of place tonight. It isn’t until the closing combination of Caraphernalia and King For A Day that things get back on track, but Pierce The Veil still have to squeeze in one more speech about how music is their fans only escape from life. Pierce The Veil have a lot of potential but it’s just ruined by their performance which just feels fake and their speeches about music saving lives just feel more like slogans now than actual beliefs and judging by the reaction from a lot of the older people in the crowd many people agree.
Fortunately Pierce The Veil were soon forgotten about as the lights dropped and Bring Me The Horizon (9) took to the stage. Opening with Can You Feel My Heart saw an explosion of confetti on stage and an explosion of energy from the crowd as pits opened up and every fan screamed along. What is immediately clear is how much Bring Me The Horizon have improved their live performance, with Oli Sykes’ vocals sounding better than they ever have done and the rest of the band performing with a huge amount of energy whilst still sounding incredibly tight. Backed up by their most impressive stage show ever featuring an amazing light show, a huge screen across the back of the stage and plenty of steam cannons, Bring Me The Horizon smashed through a set heavily focused on Sempiternal whilst older fan favourites Diamonds Aren’t Forever and It Never Ends saw huge pits open and fans climbing over each other to try to high five Oli. What is also noticeable in these older songs is the new electronic elements added in by Jordan Fish, which gives these songs a new twist. Slower tracks And The Snakes Start To Sing and Deathbeds give the crowd a much needed break from the chaos. With the screen at the back dropping to reveal a huge light up BMTH, Chelsea Smile and Antivist bring their main set to a close with a final wall of death leaving almost every fan battered and bruised before a final encore of Blessed With A Curse and Sleepwalking lead to an epic sing along and one final explosion of confetti. If there could be one complaint about Bring Me The Horizon tonight it would be that at only 13 songs their set felt a little too short, especially with the brilliant back catalogue Bring Me The Horizon now have but when they put on a show as good as they have tonight this feels like a fairly small problem. Next stop for Bring Me The Horizon, arenas.